Dubstore Releases Merritone Series

The Japanese label Dubstore have started a reissue campaign highlighting the sensational Merritone catalog which focused mainly on amazing Rocksteady gems. The first 10 singles have already been released which you can preview and get more info below.

Dubstore singles are not cheap but are of high quality, much like Rock A Shocka and the recent Trojan releases as well). Dancecrasher mentioned the full schedule is rumored to be 40 singles! This means plenty of great and new items for the collection. They also mentioned that if you’re short of funds that the Zodiacs release is the must buy with the Lynn Taitt “Batman”/”The Joker” release the second choice.

A Side: Eddie Perkins  Title: I’m Coming Home
B Side: Merritone All Stars Title: I’m Coming Home (Instrumental)
Recorded in 1967 and previously unreleased material from the original master tape. This elegant but also distinctive recording is certainly incomparable to other recordings appeared during the Rocksteady era. Veteran singer, Eddie Perkins, started his career in the early 1960s and he worked with Alton Ellis as duo called Alton and Eddy.


A Side: The Zodiacs Title: Walk On By
B Side: Merritone Singers Title: House Upon The Hill
This is a Rocksteady cut of the Zodiacs’ ‘Walk On By’ released in 1967. They recorded the original Ska cut at Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle. Rare Rocksteady classic with beautiful harmonies on a profound rhythm. On the B-side, this previously unreleased material ‘House Upon The Hill’ features an unknown vocal group called Merritone singers.


A Side: Lynn Taitt And The Jets Title: Bat Man
B Side: Lynn Taitt And The Jets Title: The Joker
Lynn Taitt remakes theme songs from the movie “Batman” in killer Rocksteady style. Those cheerful instrumentals, which well represent the distinctive sound of Marritone label, were originally released in 1968.


A Side: The Renegades Title: Mr. Hops
B Side: Oswald Sewell Title: Oh My Love
The Renegades consisted of Winston ‘Pipe’ Matthews, Lloyd ‘Bread’ McDonald and George ‘Buddy’ Haye and later became a group called the Wailing Souls. Definitely, ‘Mr. Hops’ is the most powerful Rocksteady vocal song among the whole Merritone catalogue. Originally released in 1966 and one of the rarest records you could never find. This record also features previously unreleased Ska vocal recording ‘Oh My Love’ from the original master tape.


A Side: The Renegades Title: Big And Fine
B Side: Oswald Sewell Title: Where Can He Go
The Renegades showcase one of their valuable early works to perfection. ‘Big And Fine’ was originally released 1966 and collectors would say the record is one of the most sought after records by the group. It also features Oswald Sewell ‘s previously unreleased Ska vocal material ‘Oh My Love’ from the original master tape on the B-side.


A Side: Roland Alphonso Title: How Soon
B Side: Roland Alphonso Title: How Soon Pt.2
Roland Alphonso has covered many songs with his own unique style from his early career. ‘How Soon’ is simply another beautiful instrumental cover performed by Roland. ‘How Soon Pt.2’ is a previously unreleased take to the A-side. Released on Federal label in 1966 and reissued from the original master tape.


A Side: Henry Buckley Title: Beware Of All Those Rude Boys
B Side: Henry Buckley Title: If I Am Right
Merritone label endorsed Henry Buckley as a star singer of the label during the Rocksteady period. He sings “Beware of all those rude boys going around with their guns, spoiling everybody’s fun” to warn behaviors of Rude Boys. It seems Rudies were everywhere when the song was released in 1966. He also showcases his conscious lyrics with song ‘If I Am Right’. The artist tried to deliver profound messages to youths. Those recordings were taken straight from the original master tape for the reissue.


A Side: Tomorrow’s Children Title: Bang Bang Rock Steady
B Side: Tomorrow’s Children Title: Rain (Rock Steady)
Tomorrow’s Children were probably favored by uptown youths rather than downtown Rudies because of their funky, hard hitting sounds and lyrics. With those elements, they successfully created own killer style, which can be undoubtedly heard with ‘Bang Bang Rock Steady’. The group also versioned the Beatles’ ‘Rain’ in fine Rocksteady style. The original record was released in 1967.


A Side: Roland Alphonsono  Title: Sai Pan
B Side: Black Brothers Title: Born To Rule
This deep Ska instrumental ‘Sai Pan’ features a beautiful solo by Roland Alphonso. The most sought after record of Merritone Ska and a crucial for all Ska lovers. On the flipside, the record features a mid-tempo Rude Boy Ska anthem ‘Born To Rule’ by Black Brothers, the song was taken straight from the original master tape for this reissue. Another hard to find record released in 1966.


A Side: The Ethiopians Title: You Got To Be Clean
B Side: The Ethiopians Title: Miss Nora
Previously unreleased material from the original master tape. Ethiopians recorded a couple of songs for Merritone label in 1976. During this proto-reggae/roots period, they surprisingly recorded this roots song ‘You Got To Be Clean ‘ with lyrics referring to ‘Zion’ in 1966. Side B is a love song that expresses sentimental feelings of a boy who fail in love with a girl.



Big thanks to Dancecrasher for the wonderful insights.
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I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.